Texture and two threads

As I continued to work on the beautiful Marriage Pillowe late this week, I was struck with the texture of the piece. There is a three dimensional quality to it that is quite different from the other crewel work piece I’m stitching right now. Part of this is because I’m using Heathway wool for the other piece and Heathway is a more finely spun wool than Appleton. The other reason is that the stitching for the Marriage Pillowe calls for using two threads for all of the berries, acorns and leaves.

Using two threads creates a three dimensional landscape of stitching. The berries and acorns become hills and the leaves become long mountain ranges. The single thread stem stitch looks like a small, raised road traveling across the linen from hill to mountain.

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Blah and forgetful

I know we have members of the Unbroken Thread community from all over the world so, before I begin, I’ll explain what “blah” means in this context. Blah means I’m feeling less than my usual creative, motivated and energetic self. Not only am I blah but I’m forgetful. Not a great combination on the first day back to school after a two week vacation.

Yesterday I just felt under the weather without being really sick all day. Achy and cold for 30 minutes then just fine the next 30 minutes, then achy again and so on. I took a long, hot bath and went to bed early – as in 9 pm early – and feel asleep.  The only stitching I did all weekend was what you’ll see below and, worst of all, I completely forgot that I had a post to put up this morning. See? Blah and forgetful. Lousy combination.

The good news is that I felt OK when I woke up so I could go into school and see my wonderful, happy  students. They always make me feel better. During the day that achy feeling came over me again and then just as mysteriously went away again. My plan is to ignore it and hope it just gives up.

But this means I also ignored you and that’s not very nice. So, here’s what I’ve been up to this weekend. Finishing an unfinished project that I thought was finished but then I decided it wasn’t. Clear?

Remember the Floral Bed Cover? I was debating about whether I should stitch the top border or not. It’s been on the stand for weeks and I’ve been looking at it every day, mulling over if I liked it as it was or if I should finish stitching the design I’d drawn. Well, I decided to finish it and also to redo the dark blue flower.

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We are so lucky

Yesterday morning I woke up at my usual “getup and go to school” time. I’ve never been able to sleep late on the weekends – it seems like such a waste of the day. After making myself a cup of coffee, I sat down to do some stitching on the Marriage Pillowe as the sun came up.

Slowly the room filled with warm slanting rays of sunshine as I worked. It was quiet and I was simply enjoying the feel of the wool, the sound of the needle passing through the linen and the rich colors in front of me. I reached the end of a thread, finished it off and cut the end.

As I looked up from my work, I saw colors glowing in the sunshine. The Floral Bed Cover is still sitting on it’s frame waiting for me to decide about the final stitches and the colors were alive in the sun.

It stuck me how very, very lucky we are to work with the quality of materials, the beautiful colors and rich fabrics we use in our embroidery.

Aren’t we blessed to be part of a long, unbroken tradition of creating beautiful things from cotton, linen, wool and silk? Nature provides us with the raw materials and, through the ingenuity of the human mind, we’ve spun, dyed, woven and stitched them into works of art.